A 14-month-old girl with Down syndrome is the newest member of a prestigious U.K. modeling agency, and her mother remains grateful that God has blessed her with a special needs child.
Taya Kennedy is the newest member of child modeling agency Urban Angels which aims “to reflect diversity and illustrate unity,” according to the agency's website.
Despite negative opinions, mother Gemma Andre's confidence in her bubbly toddler was so absolute that she did not even mention the genetic condition when she submitted Taya's pictures to the agency for enrollment.
Andre, who said her pregnancy was unplanned, was filled with tears of joy after Urban Angels confirmed they liked what they saw, Mail Online reported.
Even after Andre explained that her daughter has the condition, the agency was unfazed and very interested.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that often causes cognitive impairment and can impact physical growth.
According to Mail Online, an increasing number of retail companies are now anxiously flocking to cast Taya in their advertising campaigns.
The toddler's parents could not be more proud, although Andre admitted it was not always an easy process.
Andre chose not to learn of any disorders or birth defects in her baby while she was pregnant, and as a result was told of Taya's condition immediately after birth.
In an interview with Mail Online, Andre explains, "A doctor told us, ‘I think she has Down’s syndrome’ and then he just walked away."
Andre, along with Taya's father, was said to be initially disappointed and hurt after receiving the news.
"From that moment I was mourning for the child I hadn’t had. We couldn’t help but selfishly wonder why this had happened to us," she said.
The 29-year-old quickly shifted her views after she was able to realize that her special needs child was in fact a blessing.
Andre was able to appreciate God's gift to her, particularly after considering the number of women who struggle with infertility on a daily basis.
Taya has defied many odds, including that of her doctors.
Medical professionals were adamant that Andre would never be able to breast-feed her child, and Andre confirmed that she was actually able to do so for nine whole months.
Andre believes her daughter is very capable, and she explained why sympathy from others is offensive.
"When people say ‘poor you’ I find it offensive and irritating. The way I see it, some people cannot even have children and God has given me this special child," Andre stated.